When you rarely ever have any extra time on your hands to cook, it can be tough to eat healthy food and avoid ordering takeout. Many individuals who follow a strict diet tend to have a warped idea about the kind of meals they’re allowed to eat, and consequently many opt for tasteless food which may keep them on track with their diet, but fails to curb their cravings. The problem is with such meals is that they make it easier to give up on your diet; one cheat meal becomes an everyday cheat meal until you choose to satiate your appetite over staying in shape. But that’s only a common misconception that we’re here to prove wrong. 

Here’s how you can stay healthy while steering clear from bland meals that make your diet more challenging. 

Order healthy takeout 

So you don’t have the time to cook for yourself, and there’s no other way around it? You’d be surprised to know that not all takeout options are unhealthy. There are dedicated food businesses online that caters to healthy individuals like yourself, and many of them are affordable as well. There are even some that allow you to plan your meals for whole weeks in advance. Although when choosing such a service, Fresh Meal Plan recommends that you find one that offers a lot of variety and keeps offering new dishes regularly. This way, you would not be forced to choose the same dish over and over again. What makes these restaurants more convenient is that you can order them in bulk on a weekly basis, and refrigerate them until it’s time for your meal. Make sure you take your lunch to work to avoid having to skip a meal, which can be just as unhealthy as eating high-calorie foods.

Make thirty minute meals 

At some point, you’re bound to miss the homemade food, especially because they tend to be more budget-friendly. So the next time you feel tempted to pick up your phone and order Chinese, think of more delicious options like a homemade chipotle chicken burrito bowl.

There are hundreds of 30-minute recipes you can find online, just make sure you replace cooking oil with olive or coconut oil for lower-cholesterol meals. On the other hand, poaching your meats will always be a healthier option than stir frying. If you prefer more flavor, grilling is a good option as well. 

Invest in spices 

The trick to making your meals as delicious as they are healthy is to add just the right combination of spices that add a mouthwatering flavor to your low-calorie meals. Many newbies in the health community tend to think that only plain and bland meals can be healthy, but it’s quite the opposite. Herbs and spices make your meals more nutritious, and will boost your immunity with their anti-inflammatory properties. These are some of the spices and herbs that you could incorporate into your meals. 

  • Cardamom – As sweet as it’s flavorful, you’ll find cardamom in pumpkin spice flavored foods and drinks. Add this to a bowl of salad or to your smoothie to help treat an upset stomach. And because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s also great for your skin and overall health. 
  • Chili – Spicy food has recently been proven to help people age better and build a stronger immune system. Some studies have even suggested that chili can make individuals live a longer life. Whether fresh, dried or powdered, sprinkling this on a chicken plate or a salad will boost your metabolism and help keep your blood vessels in good health. 
  • Cumin  – If you’re familiar with Middle Eastern cuisine, you already know that cumin is incorporated in numerous dishes. It gives a nice sour taste that goes great with any zesty meal. Cumin helps promote better digestion and is a rich source of iron as well. It may also help individuals with diabetes, and it helps balance cholesterol levels. Many dieticians also claim in can help give your metabolism a boost and reduce your body’s need to store fat. 
  • Paprika – Paprika is perfect for those who want to opt for flavorsome meals while steering clear from anything spicy. Aside from being a delicious addition to a myriad of classic dishes, this superfood spice can help heal wounds, promote collagen production, treat skin problems that range from acne to eczema, and decrease the risk of heart attacks. It also supports healthy digestion, and best of all, it will spice up your meal. 
  • Coriander – Commonly used in its powder form, coriander makes the perfect garnish for salsas and spicy soups, but you can pretty much freestyle with it and add it to classic meals. You don’t need to add more than half a teaspoon of ground coriander to get that rich flavor, either. This herb is packed with anti-inflammatory properties, which are believed to aid brain activity and help lower blood sugar levels. 

Invest in a pressure cooker 

If you don’t already have a pressure cooker, it’s time to head to your retail store and get yourself one of these beasts. Pressure cookers will save you tons of effort and time when cooking time-consuming meals. Craving some goat stew, but don’t have up to eight hours of your time to spare? Just cook it up in for thirty minutes in your pressure cooker. These pots will cut your cooking time in far less than half, and will make your meat tender. If you prefer vegan meals, fava beans only take thirty to forty minutes to make in these cookers. 

They’ll also help you save money because they’re more energy more efficient than having to run the stove for hours to cook a single meal. That said, pressure cooked food exposes your meals to heat for a shorter period of time, which means that your food will retain more nutritional value. When you pressure cook your food, this traps nutrients that escape your food in the form of steam and preserves it. 

Never sacrifice satiating your appetite at the expense of staying healthy because you simply don’t have to. Bland meals will not just make it harder for you to stick to your diet, but they’re also far less healthy than flavorful homemade meals, or delicious healthy takeout. Once you get a taste of how satiating healthy food can be, you’ll never be able to go back to greasy junk food. 

Image source: unsplash.com

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